It was definitely a pleasant weekend, notwithstanding the fussy weather patterns. Friday night we were up until the wee hours of the morning (er, Saturday morning) locked in an intense multiplayer skirmish of Karaoke Revolution. I performed rather poorly, what with a menu that completely lacked in James Brown, and a judging system that rewarded rhythm and pitch instead of stage presence.
Nevertheless, I’m completely addicted. Video games involving karaoke (or dancing, or playing guitar) are totally awesome. I now dream in karaoke. Sure, the games are no match for nights of drunken revelry at Jack’s or Tio Pablo’s or The Windigo, but they’re totally fun in their own right.
Saturday afternoon I drove to the cabin so we could go out for pizza at Tony’s, an excellent place to visit whenever you need your Northwestern Wisconsin smoky bar fix. Somewhere along the line we picked up a case of Pumpkin Ale, which along with pumpkin was supposed to deliver a delightful bouquet of spices.
Unfortunately, it seems the spices smothered the pumpkin in its sleep and took the place over, so all you can taste in the beer is cloves, cloves, cloves. Sweet, delicious cloves. Instead of Pumpkin Ale I’d call it Broken Head Delight Spice Brew, or Brutally Shocking Autumn Special Reserve, or Uncle Lefty’s Oaken Clove Slugger, or something else that describes its “subtle nuances” a little more accurately.
After returning from the cabin Sunday night the Soob was long-overdue for an oil change, so I jacked it up to the sky and climbed underneath. I haven’t had the nerve to play with car jacks ever since we used them to level the floor in the boathouse while working at fall camp. In the two days it took us to finish the job we only had one jack fail on us. Even so, having a jack suddenly POP and come flying out at you, throwing around thick metal spacers in the process, kinda makes you gun shy. Especially when you know that in the afternoon, you’re gonna need to climb under the boathouse and do more of the same.
So yeah, that oil was lookin’ plenty dark as poured out of the oil pan, and it was plenty hot seeing as how the car had just finished driving a hundred miles, and it felt no shame as it coated my hand, ran down my arm, and flowed off my elbow. Here I am making a terrible mess, covered in oil and cursing an awful lot, and here comes our neighbor pulling into our driveway, wishing to chat about the gigantic elm tree that broke in half and fell in our yard during last Tuesday’s windstorm. My mind wasn’t totally with it and I tried to get him to write his phone number on the side of a can of lighter fluid. He chose a spare 2×4 instead, and after a thought I found that to be a splendid alternative.
They’re predicting huge snowstorms tomorrow night and Tuesday. That is, “huge” if you consider “huge” to mean 4-8 inches. Which I don’t. I consider 4-8 feet to be a huge snowstorm. Once, just once, I’d like to see a blizzard shape up to be at least as significant as the meteorologists think it should be. Think about it. These people are in the business of predicting the weather… don’t you think they would catch on, eventually, that their predictions are almost always grossly exaggerated? At some point, wouldn’t they find it prudent to move the goal posts just a little bit closer?
Just once I’d like to see a weatherperson get up there, shrug his or her shoulders, and say, “You what? It might snow tomorrow. It might not. We might get four inches, we might get eight. We might get nuttin’. Anyway, it’s probably not gonna be nearly as big a deal as you’d like to think it is.”
Instead, we continually get these tiresome predictions of Armageddon, until we are led to believe that hot cinders will rain from the sky and engulf the countryside in firestorms of unimaginable terror and destruction. We could write this off as harmless hyperbole, as sensationalizing in a world that loves real-life drama, but I fear that this pre-packaged hysteria is far more damaging than that.
The problem is that when something truly, truly terrible happens, like the horrid torrent of tsunamis and hurricanes and earthquakes we’ve experienced this year, we have no way of describing them. In sensationalizing the tiny and insignificant we have played our hand. These dire predictions don’t go up to 11.
We have used up all the words on nothing.